Sankata lift Aaha-Rara title for the first timeThe Kathmandu-based 'A' Division outfit edged African Roots Association 4-2 on penalties after the match ended in 1-1 draw in the regular playing time.
Sankata Club edged African Roots Association 4-2 on penalties to claim their first Aaha-Rara Gold Cup title at the Pokhara Stadium on Saturday.
The match was decided by a penalty shoot-out after the regulation playing time finished in a 1-1 deadlock and no goals were scored in the extra 30-minute time. In the tie-breaker, the visitors wasted two penalties against one missed by Sankata.
Winners Sankata bagged a purse of Rs1 million and the runners-up Roots Association walked away with Rs500,000.
Basscek put Sankata in front in the 10th minute, controlling a through pass from Moussa and forcing it inside the area before unleashing a scorcher at the near post giving goalie Raja Babu Thapa no chance.
Sankata survived a scare in the 21st when forward Basscek made a quick one-touch strike in Njimi volley pass forcing goalie Thapa for a diving save. In the 37th, Roots Association custodian Da Sylvio averted a threat punching Jai Gurung pass before forward Fode Fofana could head it. Four minutes into the second half, Sankata goalie Thapa responded quickly to deny Moussa's low strike in Basscek pass.
But Glory, who came as a substitute player in the first half, restored parity for Sankata in the 51st minute with a semi-volley strike from the area collecting the ball dropped in the attacking zone by goalie Thapa.
In the 68th minute, Roots Association custodian Sylvio made a diving save to deny Fofana's feeble shot from the area. In the late stage of the extra-time, Glory wasted twin scoring opportunities. In the 110th minute Glory headed inches wide from the close range and two minutes later he again ended up chipping wide in a counter attack with only advancing goalie Sylvio on his way.
In the shootout, Amit Tamang converted the first penalty taken for Sankata while Kuete who took the first shot for visiting Roots Association shot wide. But Sankata skipper Saroj Dahal missed the second shot as custodian Da Sylvio dived at the right side to level the scores 1-1.
Sankata forward Subash Gurung and Roots Association’s Rim both converted a third shot. Niraj Basnet scored the fourth for Sankata before R Mbakop was denied by Sankata goalie Raja Babu Thapa. The custodian dived at the right side to prevent the Cameroonian penalty taker as the score read 3-2. Aysuh Ghalan, who came as a late substitute for Sankata, converted the last penalty from the spot to give them a 4-2 victory. The man-of-the-match Raja Babu was declared the most valuable player and the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Sankata's Neraj Basnet, African Roots’ Rim, Basscek and coach Serge Boris were named best defender, best midfielder, best striker and best coach respectively.
African Roots’ Moussa, Basscek, Sankata's Glory and Nepal Police Club's Budha Bal Tamang were the joint top scorers of the tournament with four goals each in their head.